Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dig up the past to celebrate the future

(Originally published in The Forum, August 12, 2009)

by: Chad Quinn

I’ve always been interested in history… especially the transition from the 19th to 20th Century – the Gilded-Age, titans of industry, the growth of our Country through the determination to explore, build, and make great... but, recently I’ve become interested in events that are more recent, and closer to home.

As the Public Information Specialist for the City of Tamarac, I have a unique vantage point of what is happening around the City. It is my job to disseminate information to the public through publications, the media, the web, social media, and direct contact with our residents. Everyday in Tamarac is different.

I received a call earlier this year from an interior designer out of California who was working on redecorating one of our local restaurants – they wanted old photographs of our City. Unfortunately, I did not have a central stockpile to go to and therefore was unable to help him… it got me to thinking, Tamarac could use a Historical Society.

History has been made every day since those initial subdivisions (Tamarac Lakes), geared toward active adult living, were first developed on what is now the east side of the City. Ken Behring, an entrepreneur from the midwest saw an opportunity to provide maintenance-free living in what was essentially pastureland at the time. This maintenance-free living was unique in that the “living” would be in unattached single-family homes.

An entrepreneur, recognizing opportunity, and developing it, is a common theme among the history of many of Tamarac’s neighbors such as Lauderhill and Coral Springs. It is that history, filled with ups and downs, challenges and triumphs, that must be preserved.

Of course Tamarac has evolved, the City was incorporated on July 19, 1963, into a sprawling, if not slightly odd shaped, 12 square miles of bustling City with roughly 60,000 residents. We will celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2013 (as will Coral Springs and Parkland). Now is the time to begin collecting our past for posterity… we need your help.

We’re looking for donations of photographs, books, sales brochures, menus, pamphlets, and more – anything with, or the potential for, historical significance. We’re also looking for volunteers for Tamarac’s new Historical Society.

So, do you have a story to tell, memorabilia to give, and time to share? Let me know by calling (954) 597-3723, or email